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Full text of "A history of Persia"

CONQUESTS OF NADIR SHAH         355
court, is in form like one of our field beds, six feet long and four
broad. The cushion at the base is round like a bolster: the
cushions on the sides are flat. The under part of the canopy is
all embroidered with pearls and diamonds, with a fringe of pearls
round about. Upon the top of the canopy, which is made like an
arch with four panes, stands a peacock with his tail spread, consist-
ing all of saphirs and other proper coloured stones. The body is
of beaten gold enchas'd with several jewels, and a great ruby upon
his breast, at which hangs a pearl that weighs fifty carats. On
each side of the peacock stand two nosegays as high as the bird,
consisting of several sorts of flowers, all of beaten gold enamelled.
When the king seats himself on the throne there is a transparent
jewel with a diamond appendant of eighty or ninety carats,
encompassM with rubies and emeralds, so hung that it is always
in his eye. The twelve pillars also that uphold the canopy are
set with rows of fair pearl, round, and of an excellent water, that
weigh from six to ten carats of apiece. This is the famous throne
which Tamerlane began and Cha Jehan finished, which is really
reported to have cost 160 million and 500,000 livres of our
money.
The value of the spoils was estimated at ^87,500,000
by Hanway, and the lowest estimate was ^30,000,000.
In any case the sum was enormous and, had Nadir used
it wisely for the support of his army and for public works,
it would have proved the greatest blessing to impoverished
Iran. As it was, it converted him into a miser, and
Persia never benefited during his lifetime by these vast
treasures, which after his death were mostly dissipated
and lost.1
The Massacre.—An entirely peaceful ending to the
campaign was disturbed by a rising in Delhi during the
course of which some Persians were killed. Nadir at-
tempted to quell the tumult but was obliged in the end
to unleash his soldiers, who massacred and plundered and
burned. Mohamed Shah interceded and the massacre
was stopped, but not until part of the city had been
destroyed by fire.
The Marriage of Nasrulla Khan.—To cement the
alliance between the two monarchs, a daughter of the
Moghul Emperor was married to Nasrulla, Nadir's
1 Some years ago I purchased a coral necklace of Indian manufacture from an im-
poverished descendant of Nadir Shah, There is every reason to believe that it formed
part of the spoils of Delhi,